French and Riviera News Thursday 3rd June 2021

News

Vaccination against covid for 12 to 18-year olds from June 15th - French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the vaccination for 12 to 18-year olds against covid will begin on June 15th. Speaking during a visit to the Lot region on Wednesday June 2nd, as part of the Head of States tour of France, ahead of the regional elections and less than a year before the presidential election, Macron also announced that the threshold of 30 million vaccinated would be reached by mid-June. The President called on the French to remain "extremely careful and vigilant" as the circulation of covid is progressing in certain parts of the country, in particular in the South-West.

Speaking on French television on Wednesday evening, the Minister of Health Oliver Veran said that “the vaccination of adolescents will be done using the Pfizer vaccine, adding that it will be carried out on a voluntary basis, with the consent of the parents" however, it is not yet confirmed if both or just one parents consent is required . It was on May 28th that the European Medicines Agency authorized the vaccination of 12-15-year olds with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Possible to postpone second dose - Meanwhile the Health Minister announced the possibility of postponing the second dose of a covid vaccine "in the same centre" during the summer holidays. Veran said that holidays “would be taken into account” and that obtaining the second dose while on holiday should remain “an exception”. Veran pointed out that the government does not for example, expect “doctors and health workers in the Var to vaccinate the entire population” who are in the region during the summer holidays.

Those wishing to travel to Italy for less than 24 hours and who live within 60km will no longer need to present negative  PCR test - A new decree has been introduced in Italy for neighbouring countries which now means that a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 48 hours is no longer required for a trip which does not exceed 24 hours and for those who live within a 60km radius. The announcement was made by the mayor of Ventimiglia Gaetano Scullino. The economic activity of Ventimiglia and San Remo in particular, is very dependent on the flow of people coming from France to shop or go to restaurants.

Emergency numbers breakdown - A crisis unit has been set up by the French government after emergency numbers such as the 18, 15 and 112 were not operating in several departments on Wednesday June 2nd. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Secretary of State for Digital Cédric O, cut short a visit to Tunis returning to Paris for this morning’s meeting with prefects by videoconference. In a statement the Interior Ministry said. "that all emergency numbers were concerned, but that the problem was not generalized and appeared to be a maintenance problem from the provider Orange causing random breakdowns in certain departments". The minister estimated that there had been up to a 30% drop in expected calls and said he hoped the situation would be resolved Wednesday evening.

French government and electricity providers deny claim in French press - The French government and electricity providers have denied a claim published in Le Parisien newspaper that homeowners with Linky electricity metres would pay more. The newspaper had reported that “postponed payments” would mean that consumers were paying off the cost of the metres, with consumers footing the €5.7 billion bill for installing them.

Organic farmers stage naked protest - Organic farmers in France have taken part in a protest against proposed changes to the EU common agricultural policy. Farmers posted pictures of themselves naked online against government proposals which they claim will cut funding by half.

 

Business

The United States has immediately suspended tariffs on some $2 billion worth of imports in retaliation for taxes on its tech firms.

25% tariffs apply to certain goods imported from the UK as well as Austria, India, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

The US trade representative Katherine Tai said that the delay would allow more time for talks.

The suspension of tariffs comes following a year long US investigation into digital services taxes put in place by the six countries, which tax tech firms on their revenues rather than their profits.

Washington had previously described the taxes as unreasonable and discriminatory against American social media companies, online marketplaces and tech firms.

Tariffs will now be suspended for up to 180 days as talks on how to tax tech companies with a global footprint continue in the G 20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Shares in the US cinema chain AMC have rocketed in what could mark a return to the frenzied trading seen earlier this year.

Trading in AMC Entertainment  was halted briefly several times on Wednesday as high volumes of shares were bought and sold.

AMC stock climbed by as much as 100%, peaking at $69.09 midway through the day.

Analysts say it’s the latest example of amateur investors trying to seize power from Wall Street Giants.

Major hedge funds had bid billions of dollars that AMC shares would fall.

However, they’re facing losses after amateurs swapping tips on social media sites like Reddit or Twitter drove prices up.

In the year-to-date, shares in AMC have risen by an astonishing 3,000% despite its cinemas been largely shut during the pandemic.

And –Oil prices have risen for a third straight day on expectations of a surge in fuel demand.

Brent crude futures were trading up 49 cents or 0.7% a little earlier this morning at $71.84 with West Texas intermediate up 0.6% at $69.27.

The consensus among market forecasters including OPEC is that oil demand will exceed supply in the second half of 2021.

Demand is expected to increase particularly in the United States, Europe and China later in the year.

The United States, the world’s biggest oil user is expected to lead demand as the driving season gets underway.

The easing of lockdowns around the world is also seeing road traffic return to pre-pandemic levels.

Sport

Tennis – Serena Williams is through to the third round of the French open after beating Mihaela Buzarnescu in a tough three set match on Wednesday.

Williams won 6–3 5–7 6–1 to set up a third round meeting with fellow American Danielle Collins.

The third seed Aryna Sabalenka and 15th seed Victoria Azarenka are also through.

In the men’s event the second seed Daniil Medvedev had a four set win over Tommy Paul of the United States while the fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and the sixth seed Alexander Zverev both made it through to the third round.

Cricket-New Zealand bossed Day 1 of the first Test against England at  Lord’s as the home side struggled to make inroads on a flattish  pitch.

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat. At stumps they’d reached 246-3 including an unbeaten century on debut for Devon Conway who’s on 136 not out.

Play resumes at noon French time today.

Meanwhile, England fast bowler Ollie Robinson has apologised after historical tweets of a racist and sexist nature were revealed during his Test debut.

The posts were made in 2012 and 2013 when the player was aged 18 and 19.

Robinson said that he was embarrassed by the tweets and that he had learned his lesson.

The England Cricket Board has said it will be launching a full investigation and disciplinary action may be taken against the player.

Football –There were a number of international friendly games last night as the build up to Euro 2020 continues.

England beat Austria 1–0 while the Netherlands and Scotland drew 2–2. France beat Wales 3–0 in Nice while Germany and Denmark drew 1–1.

Rugby union – The England head coach Eddie Jones says he is looking to unearth some “ fresh, energetic and enthusiastic players who want to take on the world”.

Jones is looking to rebuild after a disappointing Six Nations as England prepare for the 2023 World Cup.

England will play the USA and Canada next month while an England A team will play Scotland A at the end of June.

Jones will name his squad at lunchtime today and with 11 England players away with the British and Irish Lions, there is opportunity for new faces.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees.

Overnight lows of 16-18 degrees with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Fine tomorrow with a high of 24.Sunshine and thundery showers on Saturday with a high of 23.

And Finally

A recent study has shown that some 38 million Brits have turned their hand to baking in the last year, with young people taking up the hobby the most.

16–24-year-olds spent an average of more than 5.5 hours a month in the kitchen since the beginning of March 2020.

On average, Brits have spent over £8.4 billion on baking essentials in the last year. In the past year, the UK has spent close to £1 billion on eggs, almost £500 million on cake mixes and a staggering £1.3 billion on butter.

The new data comes ahead of Cupcake Day on June 17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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